The 2018 Summer STEM Program application is now live!!!

NOTE: Classes will operate if a minimum class size is reached. Our intent is to admit students into their highest-ranked course selection.  Historically, at least 80% of students receive their first choice.  Course popularity and class size constraints will determine final placement.

Students are only enrolled in one of the following courses during the entire six weeks of the program.


Below are the sections that will tentatively be offered in 2018.  We anticipate several more additions before the online application becomes available in mid-January 2018.

Digital Electronics for the Inventor

This hands-on course challenges you to assess, design, build, test, and demonstrate an electronics project from scratch.  Daily lecture topics include digital logic design, circuit theory, programmable devices, and basic microelectronics.  Students will work with diagnostic tools critical in creating a successful device of their own design.  Initial designs by the faculty will be used as demonstrations and practice experiments.  Student work culminates with an original design they create in small teams.  Each student will build several circuits individually, with the final projects performed in groups.  Students will develop your skills in project management, prototyping, protocol and functional testing, quality assurance, and device deployment.  It is highly recommended that students requesting this course already have beginner electronics and/or microcontroller background.

STEM to STEAM: The Rube Goldberg Project
Prof. George Delagrammatikas
Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Drawing from Peter Cooper’s legacy of invention, students are immersed in a rigorous, hands-on engineering and arts competition that broadens their understanding of mechanical engineering concepts through application. Lectures and laboratory demonstrations prepare the students to perform their team-based activities, centered on designing and building a kinetic sculpture that is inspired by "Rube Goldberg" machines.  Among the fundamental subsystems are: DC motors, microcontrollers, hydraulic pumps, truss structures, and pneumatic and hydraulic systems.  Student learn how to use basic manual and power tools.

Racecar Design through Engineering Experimentation
The FormulaSAE Team

Prof Delagrammatikas, Coordinator

This hands-on laboratory course allows students to explore heat exchangers, pumps, internal combustion engines, a wind tunnel, refrigeration cycles, direct-current motors, and fundamental microcontroller use. Students will have the opportunity to explore design considerations, such as hardware/software selection or system level integration, to help connect theoretical foundations with application.  Students will be divided into teams of 3-4 students which rotate through a series of ten experiments that relate to the racecar.  They explore the fundamentals of mechanical measurement, report-writing, and graphical presentation of data.

A team-based research project will then be selected by the student teams which will require the students to design, build, and test systems for the Cooper Union Formula SAE racecar. These systems include, but are not limited to: 1) a wireless data acquisition system, 2) a new aerodynamic nosecone, 3) a lightweight crash structure, 4) frame testing system, 5) carbon-fiber suspension members, 6) an improved cooling system, and a 7) turbocharged, single-cylinder engine test stand.

Civil and Structural Engineering in NYC

Prof. Joseph Cataldo and Prof. Vito Guido
Professors of Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is made up of many diverse fields. Among these are the design and construction of buildings, towers, bridges, airports, tunnels, sustainable structures such as green roofs, streets, walls and rain gardens.  Students taking this course will develop proposals to study, design and build a project on these or other areas of civil engineering. The students will also work in more than one civil engineering laboratory. They will mix and test concrete cylinders and beams to failure, run fluid waves in the hydrodynamics laboratory and complete experiments to study the coastal of surge waves and shore line forces due to the breaking of these waves.

Modelling (both mathematical and physical) of storm surge structures to mitigate the destructive force of surge waves will be performed. Structural models of homes will be placed in the path of a wave. The amplitude and frequency of the surges will be adjusted until the model fails. A second model will be placed in the path of a wave with a barrier protecting the structure to determine how to mitigate the effects of surges. Students will use United States Army Corps of Engineers computer models.

With the guidance of the professors, students will develop engineering drawings in a professional report. This course will be taught by two full time Civil Engineering professors, who both hold professional engineering licenses in New York and have approximately 80 years of combined teaching and design experience.

Green Resources and Sustainable Energy
Prof. Robert Dell
Director, Center for Innovation and Applied Technology
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Admitted students will explore and develop novel technologies for underutilized energy sources. You will learn hands on methods for harvesting green energy while becoming familiar with basic heat transfer, thermodynamics, energy measurement, data collection, and infrared thermal imaging. Potential green energy solutions investigated may include wind, human power, waste heat, solar, cascade utilizations, thermoelectrics, and organic energy resources. Basic 3-d computer modeling skills including Solidworks will be taught and used in the design of the final projects.

Examples of student work can be seen here.

Computational Design and Innovation: The Makerspace

Engineers are natural problem-solvers who tackle problems on a global scale.  We address these issues responsibly as we explore civic engagement through our creativity.

This project allows students to solve global grand challenges through a broad exposure to the various departments in the Albert Nerken School of Engineering.  Students are tasked to define an engineering problem that they want to solve, research the various ways the world has addressed these problems in the past, develop alternative solutions to the problems, and then start prototyping solutions.

Students will have access to rapid prototyping machines (laser-cutter, 3D printers, CNC plasma-cutter, shop tools, etc) to develop a series of solutions to the problems that they find most important in the world.  Computer aided engineering tools (such as CAD software, microcontrollers, computer programming languages, and computer science) will be taught throughout the project.  Topics will also include patent law, patent searches, intellectual property, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Computer Science and Entrepreneurship for Social Good

Borrowing elements of social entrepreneurship, students will work in small teams to identify existing or predicted gaps in the social impact sector. They will communicate closely with real world non profits and NGOs to understand their technological needs, while prototyping a solution over the 6 week program.

Examples include: repurposing old smartphones to save the Amazon rain forest, analyzing social media with natural language processing to prevent suicides, and generating data driven maps to improve farms in Africa. Solutions will be computer science based and can take the shape of websites, apps, scripts, or other.

The primary coding languages will be HTML, CSS, Javascript, NodeJS, React Native, and Typescript; others will be introduced as needed.  Students will learn practical applications of computer science theory while also building team-based leadership and social entrepreneurship skills. They will make real, observable contributions to causes they care about. No prior coding experience necessary; come with an open mind and a huge heart.

Internet of Things

Prof. Sam Keene

Department of Electrical Engineering




\ ˈpräk-sē \ noun


1: authority or power to act for another

2: proxy server, a computer system that facilitates the exchange of data between users on a network.


If you don’t understand how the Internet works, you’re not alone. In this course, we will teach ourselves by learning how to teach each other about the technical systems that surround us. Through intensive lectures, discussion, and hands-on experiments with programmable IoT (Internet of Things) devices, students will gain an in-depth understanding of how the Internet works. In tandem, they will learn that the most difficult aspect of teaching technical topics is establishing empathy and instilling value in the topics at hand. This class will ask students to produce objects capable of explaining the Internet to a non-technical audience through games and activities of their design.


Topics of discussion will include: networking protocols, haptic design, digital communications, visual and spatial aesthetics, net neutrality, the Internet as resource commons, the ethics of design agency, among many others.


Skills: structural drawing techniques, physical modeling & prototyping, hand & power tool use, basic programming, breadboarding, visual and experiential design thinking.


Note: no experience in any of these topics is required or preferred, but a willingness to ask questions, fail, and act collectively is expected of all students.

Developing Alternative Fuels to Help Solve the Global Energy Crisis

Prof Daniel Lepek and Prof Jennifer Weiser

Department of Chemical Engineering


Additional Projects and Courses

As in the past, we have accommodated requests for a summer experience that allows high school students to explore their passions in the STEM fields at Cooper Union. If you are interested in a particular type of course or subject area, please contact us so that we can discuss the possibilities. We would have to find at least twelve students to register for the course once an available faculty member is identified. Examples can be introductory courses in engineering design, app development, digital fabrication, mathematics, physics, and chemistry, all taught at the advanced placement or college level, and with a laboratory component in some cases.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.